One of two alleged drug traffickers sought by police for his purported connection to a drug trafficking ring has turned himself in.
Police say Dana Schaper-Kotter is now in custody, but they're still looking for Lucas Thiessen, another of the seven suspects accused of operating a drug trafficking ring based in Chilliwack, B.C.
Police also revealed, the Crown has now approved more than 50 criminal charges against the seven suspects, as a result of a long investigation and two raids carried out on properties in the Fraser Valley city in November 2014 and February 2015.
Police say the gang did supply drugs in Chilliwack, but operated mostly in cities and towns in central and northern B.C. from Williams Lake to Fort St. John.
"These latest arrests show that organized criminal groups don't just operate in the Lower Mainland – their influence spans British Columbia," said Chief Supt. Kevin Hackett with the Combined Special Forces Enforcement Unit.
"We remain steadfast and committed to relentlessly pursuing those who wish to bring harm to our communities regardless of where they are."
More than $5 million in drugs were seized in the two raids, including cocaine, crystal meth, crystal MDMA, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, fentanyl in pill and powder form, and phenacetin and MSM, used as cocaine buffing agents.
The police raids also netted weapons, including three semi-automatic rifles, two sub-machine guns equipped with sound suppressors and a number of handguns and ammunition.
Police appealing for tips
In total seven people — all from Chilliwack — have now been charged as a result of the investigation. Three people were charged in Dec. 2015:
- Clayton Archie Eheler, 33, charged with one count of unlawfully possessing a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. Out on bail. Next court appearance Feb. 23 for arraignment.
- Raymond Morrissey, 59, charged with one count of unlawfully possessing a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. Released under certain conditions. Next court appearance Feb. 23 for arraignment.
Lucas Benjamin Thiessen, 22, initially charged with one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking. Now additionally charged with three more counts of the same. Whereabouts unknown.
Another four people were named on Thursday:
Jordan Anthony Ramos, 26, charged with four counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking. In custody in Grand Prairie, Alta. on unrelated charges.
Dana Mikael Hendrick Schaper-Kotter, 25, charged with four counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and 12 counts of possession of a prohibited device. Handed himself in on Thursday.
- Darcy Horvath, 23, charged with nine counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and 12 counts of possession of a prohibited device. In custody, will appear in court on Feb. 19 for bail hearing.
- Kyle Harrower, 25, charged with five counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking. Out on bail, will appear in court April 12.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Thiessen, but his whereabouts is unknown.
Anyone with any relevant information is asked to contact local police or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 or online at solvecrime.ca.